Elk rutting season is in full swing at US National Parks, and despite warnings from officials to give the animals plenty of space, it seems some visitors just can't resist the temptation to get up close. A tourist visiting one park this week was filmed approaching within a few feet of a bull elk to get a better picture.
The video, which you can watch below, shows the animal clearly making its discomfort known, and even bluff charging the man twice with its antlers down. Eventually he backs off just enough for the elk to return to grazing,
Bull elk are at their most spectacular during the rut, displaying their magnificent antlers and bugling as they compete for the attention of females. Seeing them is one of the highlights of visiting a National Park in the late summer and early fall, but it's important to remember that they can be particularly territorial and unpredictable at this time of year.
They can become aggressive with seemingly little provocation. Just a few days ago, a large male was recorded attacking the side of a car at Estes Park. It's not clear what led the animal to charge, but it may have seen its own reflection in the vehicle's side window.
Guidelines from the National Park Service state that you should always stay at least 25 yards (23 meters) from elk, and never approach, distract, or attempt to feed them. Instead, enjoy them from a distance using binoculars or a telephoto lens. For more advice, see our guide how to enjoy elk rutting season safely.
Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).
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